Freedman: Profitable NFL Wild Card Round Betting Trends for All 4 Playoff Games
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
The regular season is over, and the Wild Card Round of the playoffs is here.
Although I am not a “trends bettor,” I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games.
Using our Bet Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing NFL trends for all four games this week.
Odds as of Sunday night and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET
Buffalo Bills +3.5 at Houston Texans
Quarterback Josh Allen isn’t a great player, but he has improved in his second season and is good enough to keep games close. And the Bills are No. 3 against the pass (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric).
In Allen’s 27 career starts, the Bills are 15-10-2 against the spread (ATS), good for a 25.3% return on investment — and that includes last week’s meaningless season finale, which he started but exited after just five pass attempts.
On the road, Allen is 9-2-2 ATS (48.9% ROI) and as an underdog, he is 10-5-2 ATS (25.9% ROI).
As a road dog, he is 7-2-2 ATS (41.1% ROI).
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
Tennessee Titans-New England Patriots Over 42.5
Since quarterback Ryan Tannehill became the starter for the Titans in Week 7, they have put up points with ease.
- Tannehill’s starts (10 games): 30.4 points scored, 23.9 points allowed
- Other starts (six games): 16.3 points scored, 15.3 points allowed
They’ve also allowed significantly more points.
It’s possible opposing offenses have played more aggressively with Tannehill at quarterback since they know they need to score more points to keep up with the Titans.
On top of that, the Titans have a funnel defense that ranks No. 6 against the run but No. 20 against the pass in DVOA. Teams are incentivized to pass against the Titans, and given the superiority of the passing game, that could result in more points.
And perimeter cornerbacks Malcolm Butler (wrist, IR) and Adoree’ Jackson (foot) are both injured. Jackson hasn’t played since Week 13. Butler suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9, and since then the Titans defense has ranked No. 30 in pass success rate allowed (per Sharp Football Stats).
In Tanny’s 10 starts, the over is 9-1 (77.5% ROI).
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings Over 46.5
The Saints have averaged 40 points per game over the past month, and now they are playing at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome: The Coors Field of Fantasy Football.
With quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints home over is an A-graded 66-47-2 (14.5% ROI), and that includes a 5-2 postseason record.
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles-Seattle Seahawks Under 45.5
These two teams combined for 26 points in Philadelphia in Week 12, and I’m anticipating another low-scoring game here.
The Eagles could be without wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) and running back Miles Sanders (ankle), and since the Week 8 bye, they have scored only 10, 9 and 17 points against their three opponents with records of at least .500.
And the Seahawks are without left tackle Duane Brown (biceps, knee) and running backs Chris Carson (hip) and Rashaad Penny (knee, IR), and they have a stultifying run-first scheme.
Neither team is at its best on offense.
In the entire history of the Bet Labs database (since 2003), outdoor postseason games have trended to the under with a record of 73-56-4 (9.6% ROI).
Matthew Freedman is 551-427-22 (56.3%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
He’s the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.